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Petia IOURTCHENKO was born in 1957, in Donetsk, into the “Vlach” tribe. At age 16, he successfully
auditioned to become part of the prestigious theatre company “Teatr Romen” in Moscow. He took part in performances immediately upon entering, thus becoming the youngest actor, dancer and singer in the theatre’s history. Concurrent to this, he trained at the Gnesenikh Institute, studying theatre arts, dance, voice and art history. From 1974 to 1988, he performed on stages all across Russia, as well as abroad (Japan, India, Yugoslavia, France, etc.). In 1988, he appeared with the troupe for the first time in Paris, at Theatre Mogador. In 1989, he left Theatre Roman and returned to Paris, where he performed in various cabarets, in particular at the Balalaika, graced by many an Eastern European artists. He met Pascal de Loutchek, a singer and guitarist hailing from Russia, and Lilia Dalskaia, a singer and former actress from Teatr Romen. Together, they formed the Arbat Trio, which would go on to perform in New York, London, Oslo, Madrid, Budapest and other cities, make festival appearances and record three albums.
In 1994, Petia founded the company ROMANO ATMO (gypsy soul) in Paris, with the help of his wife Anne-Marie IOURTCHENKO. The company was founded for the purpose of preserving gypsy culture, tradition and dance. Petia is the creator of the first gypsy dance method. He developed the choreographic language,
drawing upon the tradition of his homeland, Russia, and gypsy culture from across Europe and enhanced it with new steps, which he named using elements of the gypsy dialect and Russian and French languages. He has now brought his method and choreographic repertoire to audiences through his performances as well as international master-classes (in Brazil, Portugal, the Czech Republic, etc.).
A perfectionist, Petia personally designs the skirts of each of his dancers. The gypsy skirts aredesigned based on what they inspire him, in keeping with the traditions of his ancestors.
(see GYPSY SKIRT)
Since 1994, Petia has been teaching his dance method to “gadgies” (those who are not of gypsy culture), in particular at the Academy of Choreographic Arts at Cité Véron in Paris, as part of the association MTK La Danse. Since 2010, he has taught at the International Film School of Paris (EICAR), working with students in the Acting Division.
In 2005, he worked with Marie-Claude Pietragalla and Julien Derouault, for the production “Ivresse”
and took part in master-classes with them.
In cinema, he appeared with ROMANO ATMO in the film “Rires et châtiments”, directed by Isabelle
Doval, with José Garcia and, in 2011, in the film “Rockstar”, with Ranbir Kapur.